Mel Kiper thinks Colts will land one of the most versatile players in draft at No. 35

Mar 3, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive back Brian Branch (DB06) participates in
Mar 3, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive back Brian Branch (DB06) participates in / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts could go in several directions in the second round but Mel Kiper believes Indy will select one of the most talented players in the draft.

After the Indianapolis Colts find their quarterback in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, they will be back on the clock with the 35th pick. At No. 35, Indy will be able to go in several directions. That early in the draft, there will still be a ton of talented players remaining at several positions, and Indy will have several needs to address.

The Colts could use that pick on an offensive lineman, a defensive back, or a wide receiver. Indianapolis’ decision will probably come down to which players are still on the board.

Mel Kiper, in his recent two-round mock draft, predicted that Indianapolis uses the No. 35 pick on Alabama defensive back Brian Branch. Branch has been predicted to go anywhere from 10th overall to early in the second round, so this would definitely be steal for Indy.

Colts select Brian Branch in recent mock draft

Brian Branch is one of the most versatile and talented players in the draft. That’s why several fanbases are hoping their team selects him. All it takes is looking at his last collegiate game to see all of the things he can do well. In the Sugar Bowl, against Kansas State, Branch had 12 tackles, four for a loss, one interception, one pass deflection, and one sack.

This game wasn’t an anomaly either; Branch spent his career at Alabama moving all around on the defense making plays. After three seasons, he finished his career with 172 tackles, 19.5 for a loss, four sacks, 23 pass deflections, and three interceptions.

While Branch is an elite prospect that any team would be lucky to have, it’s fair to ask about his fit with the Colts. At Alabama, Branch was used in the slot like a nickel, similar to how Indy uses Kenny Moore II. Branch is also being graded as a safety by draft analysts. Unless Indy is drafting Branch to be to be Moore’s replacement, he won’t necessarily address Indy’s needs.

The Colts have Moore as the slot cornerback, and are deep at safety with Julian Blackmon, Rodney Thomas II, and Nick Cross. Where Indy is lacking is the outside corner spot. As versatile as Branch is, that’s not the position he plays. For that reason, it makes more sense for the Colts to go in a different direction.

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